2024 NFL Mock Draft: Packers' dreams crushed by Lions in Round 1

Auburn v Georgia
Auburn v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The opening night of the 2024 NFL Draft promises to take us on a fascinating journey. Beyond Caleb Williams going first overall to the Chicago Bears, anything is possible. Five or six quarterbacks could go before the Green Bay Packers' top choice, pushing the best players at other positions down the board.

Green Bay has the draft capital to make a Day 1 trade to move up the order. General manager Brian Gutekunst may consider it if one of the top cornerbacks or offensive linemen falls far enough.

However, there's always the concern of other teams jumping ahead of the Packers in the order. Teams picking after Green Bay are aware of their biggest needs and may make a surprising trade to get ahead of the No. 25 pick.

The worst-case scenario would see a division rival making that move. The Detroit Lions hold the 29th pick and share some of the same needs as the Packers, potentially leading to a Round 1 nightmare for Green Bay.

Packers pivot after Lions trade in 2024 NFL mock draft

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Have the Bears finally landed their franchise quarterback? If Caleb Williams reaches his potential, Chicago will become a regular Super Bowl contender in the NFC. Williams threw 72 touchdown passes with only 10 interceptions and added 21 rushing touchdowns in his final two seasons at USC. Even the Bears can't screw this up, right?

2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Which quarterback will the Commanders take at No. 2? There's good reason to believe it could be LSU's Jayden Daniels, who threw for an incredible 40 touchdowns with only four interceptions in his Heisman Trophy-winning 2023 season. Daniels also has incredible rushing ability, with 2,019 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground over the past two seasons. The Commanders find their franchise quarterback.

3. New England Patriots: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

The Patriots can't be too disappointed to have Drake Maye fall to them. Maye is a riskier pick than the previous two, but he has unlimited upside at the next level. The real question is whether the Patriots have the talent around their new quarterback to turn things around in 2024.

4. Trade Minnesota Vikings: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Minnesota has already made one blockbuster trade to net an additional first-rounder. It uses both Day 1 picks to jump ahead of potential competition for Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy. The Vikings tipped their hand by moving on from Kirk Cousins and then trading for another first, but they get their quarterback.

5. Los Angeles Chargers: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

The real winner is Jim Harbaugh, who gets arguably the best player in the entire class who also plays at a significant position of need. Marvin Harrison Jr. can become an instant All-Pro in the NFL. The chances of that happening increase dramatically by landing in Los Angeles, where he gets to catch passes from Justin Herbert.

6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

The Giants miss out on the top quarterback prospects but land their next superstar wide receiver out of LSU, just like they did a decade ago when they drafted Odell Beckham Jr. Malik Nabers would be a top-five pick and the first receiver off the board in most years. He is coming off an unbelievable season, catching 89 passes for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns.

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, T, Notre Dame

Rebuilding the offense around Will Levis starts with upgrading the offensive line. The run on quarterbacks helps Tennessee land the top offensive tackle prospect in the class. Joe Alt can start immediately and gives the Titans a potential Pro Bowler at left tackle.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Unbelievably, it has taken eight picks for the first defensive player to come off the board. That's just fine for the Falcons, who address their biggest need by landing Alabama pass rusher Dallas Turner, who made 10 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss last season.

9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Packers fans, look away. The Bears may trade down from No. 9, but with Rome Odunze on the board, this would be too good of an opportunity to pass up. A receiving trio of Odunze, DJ Moore, and Keenan Allen is as good as any in the NFL. Odunze has everything: Athleticism, size, and production. On behalf of all Packers fans, please don't let this happen.

10. New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

The Jets finally realized it would be a good idea to give Aaron Rodgers an improved offensive line, signing Tyron Smith and trading for Morgan Moses. They've already improved the receiving corps by adding Mike Williams. Now, they land a game-changing tight end in Brock Bowers, who can make an immediate impact in the receiving game.

11. Arizona Cardinals: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Arizona doesn't take a wide receiver at No. 11, instead finding its next CB1. Quinyon Mitchell impressed at the Senior Bowl and backed it up with an outstanding performance at the NFL Combine. Add in his 37 pass defenses and six interceptions over the past two seasons, and Mitchell is deservedly the top cornerback off the board.

12. Denver Broncos: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

As long as teams are happy with Laiatu Latu's medical reports, he should be an early Day 1 pick. Latu made 23.5 sacks and 34 tackles for loss in only two seasons at UCLA. He can become a difference-maker in Denver's defense.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Quarterback number five comes off the board. Michael Penix Jr. is overlooked due to the other top names in this class. Some mock drafts have him going in the top 15 while he falls to Day 2 in others. The Raiders need a QB and don't wait until the later rounds.

14. New Orleans Saints: Taliese Fuaga, T, Oregon State

The Saints need to find a long-term starter at right tackle. Enter Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga, who is one of the best run-blockers in the class. Some teams may view him as a guard, but he offers positional flexibility and can make an immediate impact.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Troy Fautanu, T, Washington

This would be a home-run pick for Indianapolis. Anthony Richardson only played four games in his rookie year but showed star potential. The focus is on giving Richardson as much help as possible. Adding an offensive lineman with incredible athleticism and the ability to play all five positions is one way to help your young quarterback. Fautanu can become a star in the NFL.

16. Seattle Seahawks: Jer'Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

The Michael Macdonald era gets underway with a focus on defense. Jer'Zhan Newton can play on all three downs and is an excellent interior pass rusher. In his final two seasons at Illinois, Newton made 13 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Jacksonville lands one of the best defensive prospects in the class who could go much earlier than this. An added bonus is that Terrion Arnold fixes arguably their biggest offseason need. Arnold could be the first cornerback off the board, but at No. 17, this is a home run for the Jaguars.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, T, Penn State

Cincinnati may look for a long-term starting tackle early in the draft, and with Penn State's Olumuyiwa Fashanu still available at No. 18, this was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

19. Los Angeles Rams: Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

Nobody can replace Aaron Donald, but the Rams add one of the best interior defensive linemen in the class with Texas' Byron Murphy II.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Graham Barton, T, Duke

The Steelers need help everywhere along the offensive line, which makes Duke's Graham Barton the perfect first-round pick. Barton has an RAS of 10.00 at center and near-perfect scores of 9.99 at guard and 9.85 at tackle. Pittsburgh could have Barton start at any of the five positions along the line.

21. Miami Dolphins: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

With two of the top defensive linemen off the board, Miami upgrades its pass rush with Florida State's Jared Verse, who made 18 sacks over the past two seasons.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Philadelphia's secondary was an issue last season. Clemson's Nate Wiggins has great speed and could end up as the best cornerback in the class. The Eagles get great value and land an instant starter in their struggling secondary.

23. Arizona Cardinals: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Passing up on Marvin Harrison Jr. is a bold move, but it helped the Cardinals land Quinyon Mitchell and Brian Thomas Jr. Thomas could go much higher than this, giving Arizona one of the steals of the first round. Thomas has the size, athleticism, and speed to become an excellent top target in the Cardinals' passing game. He caught 68 passes for 1,117 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2023.

24. Trade Detroit Lions: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

If Cooper DeJean falls to the 20s and the Packers love him, they may need to trade up to prevent this scenario. Cornerback is Detroit's top need, and it jumps ahead of a division rival to steal DeJean, who has star potential in any position in the secondary. The Lions have work to do, but a defensive backfield featuring DeJean and Brian Branch sets them up for success.

25. Green Bay Packers: Amarius Mims, T, Georgia

The Packers have to adjust without DeJean available, but they still land one of the best offensive linemen in the class. Georgia's Amarius Mims has the athleticism Green Bay covets and the talent to become a Pro Bowl tackle in the NFL. He played right tackle for Georgia, which could allow the Packers to move Zach Tom to center, where they reportedly believe he can become a Hall of Famer.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Tampa Bay could go in various directions with its top pick, but it dives into a deep cornerback class with Alabama's Kool-Aid McKinstry, which is important after trading Carlton Davis. McKinstry fits what the Bucs look for at cornerback, and the team hosted him for a top-30 visit. This makes a lot of sense.

27. Arizona Cardinals: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

The Cardinals' decision to trade down proves to be a genius move. They land the CB1 in the class, a future star at wide receiver, and now add a quality starter to the offensive line. Oregon's Jackson Powers-Johnson is one of the best interior linemen in the class and can start from Day 1 at either center or guard.

28. Buffalo Bills: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

The Bills get their wide receiver. Replacing Stefon Diggs isn't an easy task, but Adonai Mitchell can quickly become Josh Allen's top target. He has a Relative Athletic Score of 9.99 out of 10 and has No. 1 WR potential.

29. Dallas Cowboys: JC Latham, T, Alabama

Dallas must add an offensive tackle after losing Tyron Smith in free agency. Even after trading down, the Cowboys take advantage of a deep tackle class with Alabama's JC Latham at No. 29. The only question is whether he can adjust to playing on the left side of the offensive line. If he can, it would allow the Cowboys to keep Tyler Smith at guard.

30. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Morgan, T, Arizona

The Ravens desperately need help along the offensive line, which makes Arizona's Jordan Morgan a smart pick. Morgan is a great athlete and offers positional flexibility—he played left tackle in college but could move inside at the NFL level. No matter where Morgan lines up, he could immediately compete for a starting job in Baltimore.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Tyler Guyton, T, Oklahoma

The 49ers have no shortage of talent on offense, but they require reinforcements along the offensive line. Oklahoma's Tyler Guyton lacks experience and may need time to develop, but he can become an excellent NFL starter.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

The Chiefs' offense becomes even scarier with the arrival of Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey, who would be a difference-maker in the slot. Working in Andy Reid's offense and catching passes from Patrick Mahomes, McConkey can become a star.

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